Qatar World Cup set to hit all-time revenue high: reports

FIFA is expected to exceed a revenue target of $6.4 billion for its 2019-2022 cycle, most of which comes from the World Cup.

The World Cup Qatar 2022 is expected to deliver record revenue for organisers FIFA, according to a report by Bloomberg. 

An anonymous source told the American television network that the tournament is on course to top the roughly $5.4 billion in revenue that the 2018 World Cup in Russia generated for football’s governing body.

Having pre-sold broadcasting rights, an estimated 240,000 hospitality packages and nearly three million tickets for the event, according to the source, marketing sales for FIFA’s 2019-2022 cycle will exceed a figure of approximately $1.8 billion.

The World Cup is sponsored by major brands including VISA, Hyundai Motor Group, Adidas and Coca-Cola Co. 

Human rights concerns 

The revenue lift comes despite boycott concerns by some fans and sponsors, primarily due to the concentrated focus on Qatar’s treatment of the migrant workers by foreign media outlets, which has been criticised for its inaccurate reporting and sensationalism. 

The Gulf state  has responded to the concerns by introducing reforms to its legislation, all of which have received global praise by rights groups including the UN’s International Labour Organisation, which set up an office in the country to oversee the changes.

Nasser Al-Khater, CEO of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, pointed to the fact that labour reform has long been under Qatar’s 2030 Vision, saying that the protection of migrant workers’ welfare is not limited to the tournament itself.

“Do we deny that the World Cup accelerated reform and developments? No, on the contrary, the World Cup was among the key reasons behind the drastic change over the past 10 years,” he said.

Revenue on an all-time high

Bloomberg reported that World Cup revenue has “risen from tournament to tournament on the back of football’s growing popularity around the globe” – despite “controversial”  hosts. 

Notably, in 2018, Russia faced criticism for failing to address racism and homophobia among some of its fans, as well as the country’s violent involvement in the protracted Syrian Crisis.

Qatar has come under similar fire for its laws on homosexuality, which is officially illegal in the Gulf state. With questions on whether members of the LGBTQ community would be welcome in the Gulf state during the World Cup, Qatari officials have repeatedly stressed that “everyone is welcome”.

“The entire world is welcome in our country. All we ask is that fans respect our laws, just as we are expected to respect yours when we visit you,” Qatar’s Foriegn Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told Le Monde in an interview last month.

FIFA is expected to exceed a revenue target of $6.4 billion for its 2019-2022 cycle, most of which comes from the World Cup, according to Bloomberg’s source.

The federation then uses this money to organise tournaments for their games and tournaments throughout the years, and develop the sport across 211 member associations. 

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